Netflix Expands to Cuba

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Above: Kevin Spacey in “House of Cards”

By the Caribbean Journal staff

Internet film and TV giant Netflix has expanded to Cuba.

Following the recent rapprochement between Cuba and the United States, the entertainment firm announced that, beginning Monday, Cubans with Internet connections and access to international payment options could subscribe to Netflix and watch a “curated selection of popular movies and TV shows.”

“We are delighted to finally be able to offer Netflix to the people of Cuba, connecting them with stories they will love from all over the world,” said Netflix co-founder and CEO Reed Hastings. “Cuba has great filmmakers and a robust arts culture and one day we hope to be able to bring their work to our global audience of over 57 million members.”

Among those programmes that will be available to Cubans are the company’s House of Cards and Orange is the New Black series, among others.

How much uptake the company will have in the short term is unclear; Cuba had the third-lowest internet usage rate of any country in the Caribbean, according to the most recent data from the International Telecommunication Union.

The company will also offer films, series and kids programming as it does in the rest of the region, the company said.

Netflix first launched in the wider Latin America region in 2011, with a total of 5 million regional members.